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education for all

Yes, Prime Minister. It's About Learning!

Robin Horn's picture

Heads of State wave during the 2010 G-20 in TorontoLast week in Jomtien, Thailand, Ministers of Education and senior education officials from 34 countries, joined by supporters from dozens of international agencies and civil society organizations, reaffirmed their commitment to achieving Education for All by 2015.  This high level group was also commemorating the original launch of Education for All twenty years earlier, also in Jomtien.   But education leaders committing themselves to education is preaching to the choir. 

In my last post, 'Rockstars for Reading,' I argued that some of the most successful economies in the world are those that have invested most wisely in the education of their people.  So what are the education investment secrets of the most successful countries?  To put it another way, imagine if a finance minister from one of the most successful economies – such as Korea, Singapore, Brazil, or Mauritius -- were to assume the same post in another country.  What might he or she tell the head of state to encourage more and smarter investment in education?

ICT & Global Education For All: Moving Forward?

Michael Trucano's picture
are we still stuck in the harbor?
are we still stuck in the harbor?

In a post today on the Education for Global Development' blog, World Bank education sector director Elizabeth King reports back from Jomtein, Thailand on the High Level Group Meeting on Education For All (EFA). This event was a successor, of sorts, to the landmark event convened in Jomtein back in 1990 that kickstarted the global movement for 'Education For All', which has been a primary goal for many developing countries (supported by most international development agencies) for the past two decades. The title of Beth's blog post sums up her message very nicely ("Jomtien, 20 Years Later: Global Education for All Partners Must Renew Commitment to Learning") and echoes key themes and perspectives expressed in her keynote address [link to pdf] to 50 education ministers back in January at the Education World Forum.  I won't try to summarize her calls to action any more here (for that, I recommend you see the text of her blog and, especially, her excellent keynote speech).  I would, however, like to use the opportunity to revisit the question of the relevance of ICTs to this global agenda.

Jomtien, 20 Years Later: Global Education for All Partners Must Renew Commitment to Learning

Elizabeth King's picture

Twenty years ago when I was a relatively new economist at the World Bank, I was part of the Bank’s delegation to Jomtien, Thailand, where the heads of several multilateral development agencies, bilateral aid agencies, and leaders of 155 developing countries came together to declare their commitment to universal primary education.

I remember that the mood was upbeat—and not only because the venue was set along Thailand's sunny coast. There was a strong shared feeling that it was time to recommit to education as a basic human right, as highlighted by James Grant, the Executive Director of UNICEF at the time, and as a powerful instrument for reducing poverty and promoting development, as outlined by Barber Conable, World Bank President at the time. 

Rockstars for Reading? Education Needs Advocates

Robin Horn's picture

Against overwhelming odds, the efforts of countries and donors to pursue the Education for All (EFA) goals over the last decade have paid off.  The number of out of school children has dropped by the tens of millions, enrollment rates have surged, first grade entry has jumped substantially, completion rates have shot up, gender disparities have diminished, and other types of equity have improved in many countries, including in very large countries like China, Brazil, Indonesia, and Ethiopia.  Of course the six EFA goals and Millennium Development Goals 2 and 3 still remain to be achieved so we are anything but complacent.  Nonetheless, we have seen substantial progress. 

It is really important to recognize that in education we are talking about broad, system-wide outcomes – not just narrowly defined (albeit incredibly important) specific outcomes – for example in the health sector, improved outcomes on a few diseases.   Scores of countries around the world have made great leaps forward on education results, despite poverty, despite the fact that many donors did not meet their funding targets, and despite the fact that EFA doesn't have a Bono, a Bill Gates, or an Angelina Jolie to promote its importance.

An Uphill Struggle? Equity in Higher Education for People with Disabilities

Jamil Salmi's picture

Co-authored by Jennifer Pye, Tertiary Education Team

Globally the disabled population continues to be the most disadvantaged and marginalized group within society with limited access to educational opportunities. According to UNESCO’s Global Education for All Monitoring Report 2010, “disability is one of the least visible but most potent factors in educational marginalization.”
 

Today, the U.N.'s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, provides us with an opportunity to share preliminary findings from our on-going work on equity of access and success in tertiary education for people with disabilities.

Gordon Brown hails education as the best anti-poverty program

Kavita Watsa's picture

World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and the Global Campaign for Education's youngest 1Goal ambassador Nthabiseng Tshabalala of South Africa.

Blogging from the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York City.

This morning, 69 million children would not have gone to school around the world. And of those who did, many did not learn what they should have. It is a good thing that education has such energetic champions as Queen Rania of Jordan and Gordon Brown, former UK Prime Minister, both of whom made strong statements today in New York in support of universal access to good-quality education.

Gender and Marginalization

Nicole Goldstein's picture

This past spring, UNESCO published its 2010 Education for All Global Monitoring Report, which offered an in-depth look at the pressing need for countries and donors to focus on Reaching the Marginalized. 

Every year, millions of children are shut out of the classroom. Overwhelmingly, those left on the side lines are among society's most marginalized populations -- and in numbers, are disproportionately female.

Cash on Delivery: Exploring a Results-Based Approach to Education Aid

Christine Horansky's picture

Around the world, aid from international donors buys textbooks, hires teachers, and opens schools - all worthy and necessary contributions in the fight to educate every child. But largely, the development equation remains fundamentally the same.

A new book presented at the World Bank recently by the Center for Global Development flips that equation on its head with proposed progress-based aid for education. In essence, the idea entails paying a country not for inputs such as pencils or classrooms - but once each child educated passes certain bars such as completion of his or her grade level.


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